0.

"Sakura-chan, Otou-chan has great news!"

Green eyes blinked innocently. "Really…? What is it? What is it?"

Grin. Music flooded in. The background went pink and fluffy with little hearts and rainbow over the horizon. "Otou-chan will marry his love Mikoto-chan next week!"

Drop. Pink was gone, replaced by dull hue of gray and black.

"Na—nani…?"

"What's wrong? You have met Mikoto-chan, haven't you?"

Fists clenched. "That… THAT BITCH!"

SLAP.

Green eyes widened.

Papa slapped me. Papa slapped me.

Her arms trembled.

Green eyes, only darker, became filled with pain. "Sakura-chan, baby I'm sorry I hurt you… Onegai, Sakura-chan…"

"…I… HATE YOU!"

"SAKURA!"

BLAG.

"SAKURA! Come back here! Sakura!"

I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.

She ran blindingly, clutching her cellular phone. I don't want to go home. But… where should I go?

---

--

high-technology hide and seek

--

---

I.

Swirling neon lights, spotlights and a sparkling orb.

Deafening beats of the drum continued.

Sweating bodies rocked against each other as the blare of rock music resonated through out the disco hall. Smokescreen was thick and the blinking swirling lights were sickening neon, hurtful to the eye.

Give me a shot of insanity

A taste from your lips

I'm losing touch

I'm losing sense

Give me a shot of little fuck

A taste from your heavenly kiss

I want more

I want more

Don't lose control

This is the night of serenade

I'll give you a share

From my bed and get intoxicated

Give me a shot of Black Death

Fuck each other till the end

This pain crazes me

Let's meet each other in hell

Guitar solo.

I want more

I want more

Don't lose control

Another guitar solo. And deafening beats of drum.

The walls of Love Love Disco Hall trembled as the intensity of the music heightened. Bodies swayed and rocked against the music. Awed, ladies stared up to the makeshift stage. Four silhouettes stood behind the smokescreens, each towing an instrument.

This is Forever Love.

-

-

II.

The wonder of night lights of Rainbow Bridge amazed her. Sakura pressed her face against the glass. Amazing. Her phone beeped twice. Thrice. Four times.

Five. Six. Seven.

YOU HAVE 17 MESSAGES

Read?

There was another message alert tone.

YOU HAVE 19 MESSAGES

YOU HAVE 20 MESSAGES

YOU HAVE 21 MESSAGES

"What's wrong? You have met Mikoto-chan, haven't you?"

She gritted her teeth.

YOU HAVE 25 MESSAGES

Read?

Small hands rose to rub her eyes.

I will not cry.

YOU HAVE 26 MESSAGES

YOU HAVE 28 MISSED CALLS

YOU HAVE 12 VOICE MESSAGES

The bus stopped, she got out, and shivered as the breeze brushed against her thin frame. She looked around the place, very unfamiliar, she thought. The bus stop was near the train eyes looked up to the boards where Tokyo locations were being flashed. A particular word caught her eye. A small smile fell over her features as she walked over the counter.

-

-

III.

I love you honey

You make me wanna feel desirous

So when you say goodbye

I felt lonely

How could you deceive me?

You sound so true

So true

The voice was low. Seductive. Dark and it felt like it was scarping against her skin… seducing listeners to hear more. It sent shivers down to her spine, making fine hairs on her nape stand up. She bit her lip and turned 90 degrees to her left.

She can't listen anymore.

It was hypnotizing.

But… beautiful. The way the singer sang was captivating, it was like he was begging, but demanding at the same time. Wanting to be found but continued to hide, to be held by but hated to be touched… to be—

Sakura blushed horribly, it makes me feel funny. She stepped out of the disco hall, fighting the urge to look around and see his face.

-

-

IV.

Dial.

Ring.

Ring.

Naruto lifted the receiver. "Moshi moshi."

"Konbanwa." Ten-Ten greeted lazily.

"Konbanwa." He replied dully.

"Have Sakura called yet?"

Sigh.

Ten-Ten can sense Naruto's frown. "Argh. That girl. Stay calm, OK."

He stiffened. "Nanda?"

Snort. "I know you're…itching."

Blink. "Huh?"

"Never mind. Ja."

A sigh.

"Ja."

Click.

-

-

V.

"That was so cool, Sasu-chan!" Sasu-chan suppressed the urge to growl as he coughed slightly after receiving a painful whack on his back.

Hayate Rei, playing bass, was two years older than Sasuke. His startling green eyes matched his red hair. He was in senior year, attending an all-boys high school. Wanting to appear cool, he became obsessive in dressing in all black, believing it suit him.

Another senior, dark-haired and dark-eyed Tokonatsu Seki grinned. "For once I agree with Hayate, no matter how sappy he sounded." His grin became a laugh. He was Hayate's childhood friend; both were in the same high school. Being the mature one ("because I have a girlfriend, unlike you pitiful guys"), he had appointed himself as the leader of their group.

Sitting on a chair with drumsticks on his hands, Shichikawa Touya shrugged and continued drumming in air, humming tunelessly. He attended Konoha High School and was in second year. Unlike the two seniors, Shichikawa was quiet, choosing only to talk when deemed necessary.

"Ne, Sasuchan, have you decided? Come on! We can earn millions and lots of deals with your voice and pretty prettiness!" Rei exclaimed, his expression dreamy.

Seki nodded, "the invitation is still open, Sasuke. Your pretty face is an asset. We'll attract audiences with your stage presence and face."

Sasuke frowned meditatively as he began to pack his guitar. They're after my face?

Beside him, Rei continued, "a pretty boy with angel voice and a superb guitar god…" his eyes glazed over. "I can't ask for more! Forever Love will ROLL!" Touya smirked a little, and Sasuke shouldered his backpack and guitar.

"I'll think about it."

"Good, but no pressure, man. If you don't want—"

"No." Sasuke interrupted, "I will definitely think about it."

"Cool." Seki nodded and lifted his bag.

-

-

VI

Dial.

Ring.

Ring.

Shuffle.

"Hello?"

"Yo."

She frowned. "Ten-Ten?"

"Hai. Sakura-chan is still on the loose."

The frown deepened. "What is she, a dog?"

Ten-Ten grimaced. "Iie. What made you say that?"

"Your sentence. I don't like it."

"Whatever." Ten-Ten rolled her eyes.

Sigh.

"I'm worried."

"Me, too." Ten-Ten lifted the remote and flipped through the channels. She flinched. "Wow, listen to this. A fried starfish, eh? Sounds exotic but ew." She changed channel then grinned. "Wow, Barney at eleven o'clock? Amazing."

"Ten-Ten," Hinata sighed.

"Mmm?"

"I'm worried."

A pause. "Me, too."

"Sakura can be so…" Hinata bit her lower lip.

"…juvenile, yeah, I know. I told her so many times to grow up. I wonder what happened."

"But still…I'm worried." Hinata began to chew on her nails.

Ten-Ten settled on watching the cooking show. "Me, too,"

"Ne, I wonder…what she's doing."

Ten-Ten grimaced at the sight of the peculiar fizzy dish. It looked disgusting. She flipped to another channel. "Huh? Oh yeah—right. She's probably eating ramen or riceballs or yakinuki to death."

"But still… I'm worried."

Ten-Ten decided to watch Barney. "Me, too. Me, too."

-

-

VII.

He checked his watch: 9PM. He needed to get home fast. His mother was probably worried. So he walked faster, hoping to catch the last train.

Inside the train, he thought about joining the band his older brother formed four years ago: Forever Love. Singing wasn't his strong point, and he hated crowds but then, he discovered he liked music, writing music and playing music. Moreover, he got the voice to sing at least decently. He blushed, a frown marring his features, slightly embarrassed at Rei's adjective.

An angel voice.

He snorted and heaved the guitar bag closely, his legs aching at standing for so long. His eyes traveled around the occupants of the train bound to Ropponggi.

And a girl with pink hair caught his interest.

Large green eyes, a wide forehead, thin lips and ivory skin. To Sasuke, her looks were above average— ever the pragmatist. She was plain at first sight, but the longer you look, the more satisfactorily attractive she became. It must be the green eyes, he thought, that swayed his usual stiff opinion about women and their looks. They were bright— vivid— green that they appeared glowing, like neon. And her strange hair. Weird, he commented, raising an eyebrow at the absurdity of the hair color.

And then, he creased his forehead, noticing her cheeks. They were wet, and her eyes were moist.

She was crying.

Sasuke saw her jumped as her cell phone rang. Her eyes widened slightly, bit her lower lip as if she was torn between hurling her phone and answering the call, but settled into pressing a button to reject the call, scowled, and put the instrument into her skirt's pocket.

Unbidden, his dark eyes lowered to her legs. She was wearing a striped pink and white jacket with overlarge hood, a pink thin-strapped shirt with silver letterings of ANGEL, and white miniskirt which was excessively short, enough to show her underwear if she would not be careful in moving her legs around. She had red/white Chuck Taylor on with no socks.

He smirked. Nice legs.

The train's speed decreased as the next station came in view. The girl stood up, zipped up her track jacket, and he noticed she was standing exactly in front of him, giving him a full length view of her. Ah. Short. Very short. She barely reached his chin but still…she had very nice legs. Nice enough for an Uchiha to stare at dumbly.

She wore the hood absent-mindedly and as soon as the train stopped, she started walking briskly…— and as she got past him (without even looking at him, much to his chagrin) he caught a whiff of her fragrance.

She smelt like cherry blossoms and wine.

And her eyes…Sasuke frowned, very bright. Blinding, capturing me.

-

-

VIII.

Green eyes began to water. "I can't go home."

Her cell phone began to ring.

Don't try to live so wise.

Don't cry 'cause you're so right.

Reject?

Accept?

Don't dry with fakes or fears,

'Cause you will hate— BEEP.

REJECTED

-

-

IX.

Dial.

Ring.

Ring.

"Hullo?"

"Ino."

She frowned. "Shikamaru? This is strange. You hate using phones, don't you?" Ino studied her nails. Ah. I think I should try that purple nail polish.

"Yeah, look, have you tried calling Sakura?"

"An hour ago, at least a dozen times! I left voice messages!"

"And?"

Silence reigned. Shikamaru sighed. "I get it."

Ino rolled her eyes. "That's news to me."

"Here's some news, miss blonde and perfect, Naruto is crying." He snapped.

Her blue eyes widened. "What? That moron."

"He's bawling. Neji is turning red which means he's close to exploding WHICH means he'll probably murder Naruto."

"You better try stopping Neji from killing Naruto. The moron is just too worried."

"This is troublesome. I think I should not have shared a dorm room with these two troublesome brats."

Shuffle.

"Who is troublesome?" a voice thundered.

"Yo, Neji." Ino winced; she can visualize Shikamaru's expression from the other line. "Ino, got to go."

"Good luck, my man. Oyasumi."

"Good night."

Click.

-

-

X.

she's not answering her phone

FROM: Ten-ten
9:15:29 PM

she's not even texting me that brat

FROM: Ino
9:32:13 PM

she's enjoying this does she?

FROM: Ten-ten
9:35:34 PM

hmph I'll kill her tom

FROM: Ino
9:40:15 PM

not before I do

FROM: Ten-ten
9:54:35 PM

-

-

XI.

"Tadaima." Sasuke called, shutting the door close gently behind him. His mother came from the kitchen.

"Welcome home, Sasuke-kun! It's almost ten PM. Where have you been? I was worried. Were you stranded or—"

He sighed. "No. I was with…" should he tell her? "Okaa-san, I'm joining a band."

Her eyes widened. "A band?"

"Hai."

"Oh." She smiled at him and touched his shoulder. "So?"

He blinked. "…what?"

She smiled. "Well? I'm not going to stop you."

He sighed, relieved. "I see."

"Hai, it's your life. You're already in high school. I trust you. You can make your own decisions." She smiled again.

"Arigato Okaa-san."

"Have you eaten?"

He shook his head. The disco hall did not offer free food to its musicians.

"Let's eat dinner together. I have something to tell you."

-

-

XII

Dial.

Ring.

Ring.

Gaara lifted the receiver. "What do you want?" He grunted.

Ten-Ten cringed. Ah, the goth boy, "Konbanwa, Gaara-san," she tried to sound pleasant.

Grunt.

"Oh well, so much for trying to sound polite, eh?" Ten-Ten inwardly winced. She can sense the redhead's deepening scowl over the phone. "May I speak to Temari?"

"Chotto,"

Oh, he sounds POLITE.

Gaara shoved the phone under Temari's nose. The blonde girl shrieked. "OY!"

"Phone," he said flatly. Temari glared, snatching the phone, then her nose caught a sniff of something… burning.

"What the… HEY, IS SOMETHING BURNING?"

Gaara cocked his head on the side. "The barbeque,"

"WHAT!" Temari shouted.

"OY, PIPE DOWN, WILL YA TEMARI?" Kankuro shouted from the living room, watching his favorite puppet show.

"SHUT UP!" She hollered and turned to the phone. "Hallo?"

"That was nice."

Temari blinked, "Tenchan?"

Ten-Ten sighed loudly. "Hey,"

"Oh, sorry 'bout the shouting spree you heard over the phone. What's up?"

"Sakura."

"Sachan?" Temari sat, flipping through a magazine.

"She's missing."

Silence. Ten-ten waited.

Then a scream: "NA— NANI?"

-

-

XIII.

YOU HAVE 15 VOICE MESSAGES

"Sakura! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU? YOUR FATHER IS VERY WORRIED. CALL US ASAP! DON'T BE A SELFISH FOREHEAD ALIEN. TELL US WHERE YOU ARE!"

"Sakura-chan, please, where are you? We are worried. Please respond as soon as you can."

"Sakura, you fore—" DELETE

"Haruno, I'm leaving a message and you better listen. Go home like an obedient dog— Neji, you insensitive bastard!"

"Sakura… don't be so juvenile."

"I AM WORRIED AND I KNOW I'M SHOUTING OVER THE PHONE LIKE SOME CRAZY BITCH—" DELETE

"Sakura-chan, princess, please I didn't mean to hurt you, I am so sorry. Please, tell me where I can find you."

"Sakura-chan, are you safe? Please, Ten-ten and Ino-chan are really worried. Please…"

"FOREHEAD ALIEN— Ino-chan, I don't think Sakura-chan will respond to your aggressive messages— BUT MOM I AM WORRIED"

"Yo! Everyone's going mad looking for you! Arf! Arf! I am pissed with all the text messages and group messages from Ino telling us to flood you with messages. Can you at least reply and tell us that you haven't jump from a roof?"

"SAKURA-CHAN I WILL SAVE YOU! JUST TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE AND I WILL WALTZ IN CLAD IN MY ORANGE SHINING ARMOR!"

"Sa-chan, whatever it is you're facing, relax and make sure your feet is on the ground. DON'T JUMP PFF THE ROOF!"

"My fair Sakura-san, your beauty that shines in the dark! Do not fear, my love, for my love will see you throuuuuugh—" DELETE

"Sakura. Can you just go back to your house and mope there? Temari-neesan kept screaming over the phone."

"You are troublesome."

Click.

NO MORE VOICE MESSAGES

-

-

XIV.

Kakashi sighed. He tried again. Dial… Ring— Music greeted his ear, a ringback:

omoi kasane yume o kasane hibi o kasane

ase ni mamire namida korae chi o tagi rase

BEEP.

"Mmm."

The doorbell rang. He looked up, blinking. Glancing at the nearest wall clock, it read: 10:15. Wondering who would visit him this late, he went to the door and opened it.

-

-

XV.

"So, Sasuke-kun, do you disagree with my decision?"

He didn't answer. His eyes fixed on the television.

"Sasuke-kun." His mother sighed, exasperated. "Sasuke-kun."

Sasuke blinked and swallowed his food. "Gomen, I was thinking about—" this girl I saw in the train in miniskirt—"stuffs."

She smiled. "I said, do you contradict me with my decision?"

"Of what?" he asked absent-mindedly.

She let out a sigh again. Her son can be so gullible sometimes. Or downright idiot. "I…" she gulped.

"I'm engaged."

-

-

XVI.

Dial.

Ring.

Ring.

"It's almost twelve. What the hell's going on?"

Cough.

"May I speak to Naruto-kun?"

There was a groan. "Kakashi-sensei?"

"Shikamaru, of course. The sarcasm is so Shikamaru."

Again, the boy groaned. "Hai, chotto matte, sensei."

Shuffle.

And then a shout: "NARUTO!"

And a groan: "Oy, oy— Neji, what the hell did you just do? Have you killed him?" And another long groan and one-sided conversation: "Argh, no, I was just kidding man — kidding. Darn, you won't survive in Kansai, boy— oh well, Naruto's still breathing. Yo, yo, yo— shit, he's face is all— NARUTO! WA— Kakashi-sensei is on the phone, moron."

Another shuffle.

"Ouch!"

"Watch your step, idiot!"

"Whoa!"

Crash. A sound of breaking china.

"Oh no… that's the fifth time you— NO, NEJI! DON'T — MURDER — HIM — IN — FRONT — OF — ME. DO IT OUTSIDE! Not here in the dorm! Outside, man, outside! No blood on MY sofa, on MY couch and on MY—"

Kakashi winced.

Curses. Crashes.

"DAMN YOU NARUTO!"

"OUCH!"

Shuffle.

Shuffle.

Naruto grasped the phone. "Hullo?" he choked.

"Naruto."

"Sensei! What's up?" he gasped, clutching his throat.

"Naruto-kun, stop worrying about Sakura."

Frown. "Nani?"

"She's alright now. She's under my care. She ran away from her father. Family problems, I guess. So, sleep now and prepare for tomorrow's super exam."

"WHAT? She's at your… apartment? But you're a—" Naruto cleared his throat. "Fine, fine— yeah, yeah. Neji was trying to murder me, alright! Oh, it's about his set of pearly combs— I mean I didn't mean to accidentally comb my hair with his collectibles but— fine, I'll stop. How was she? Where did she stay all this time?"

"Ichiraku, she said. Then she watched Kabuki then went to the karaoke. After that, she checked out the newest band playing in Love Love Disco Hall and tried the newest ramen flavor at the Mitsubachi."

"Whoa! Love Love Disco Hall?! But that's— oh, should I be worried? What happened? Why did she run away?"

"You're not paying attention, Naruto-kun. I said family problems."

"What kind of family problem?"

"Her father wants to remarry." Kakshi replied. Naruto winced. "Obviously, little Sakura overreacted."

"Argh. That's Sakura-chan, alright. Arigato for telling me. I'm at peace now."

"OK. Ja."

"Ja."

Click.

A plate came soaring towards him.

"Duck, Naruto!" Shikamaru yelled.

Crash.

"See? SEE? This is EXACTLY—" crash! "—why I hate staying with these two troublesome brats—" crash!

Crash. Crash.

Shikamaru dove behind the sofa. CRASH!

"MORON."

"Neji, STOP THROWING THINGS— uh… oh…" Shikamaru's words were cut off as a brush came pelting towards him.

WHAM!

"This is so troublesome."

Sigh.

"And Ino said I'm exaggerated."

He rolled his eyes.

"Duh."

-+-

THANK YOU

ELECTRO POP! PORNOGRAFITTI is re-written as a parting project of ANGEL-PUPPETEER (with Sanctuary of Seven): THANK YOU VERY MUCH-UU